The classics believed that places have memory, and that their own character is custodied by a protecting spirit, the ‘genius loci.’ The Vallehermoso Athletics Stadium in Madrid is an example, a place that has gone through many phases. It was here, in 1849, that one of the first modern cemeteries of Madrid was built, the San Martín and San Ildefonso Cemetery, with a layout of Wenceslao Gaviña, and in use up to 1927. Later, in 1961, the first stadium of Spanish athletism was built there, the first one with synthetic pavement. Its track welcomed the best world athletes, and 258 records in Spanish sports were broken here. The obsolete six-lane stadium was demolished in 2008, offering the opportunity to build a new a facility for high-level competition, meeting the most demanding international standards, with spaces for training schools.
To respond to this ambitious program, the project was based on a topographical, landscape, typological, and philosophical narration. The landscape and topographical aspect is reflected in the contours of the ground level, which generates the void or ‘crater’ containing the track, with the dressing rooms, offices, storage areas, and parking underneath, and that, thanks to the differences in height, have direct ventilation and lighting. A light ETFE roof is built over the track, in dialogue with the vegetation around the stadium, which creates a sort of green island in the heart of Madrid, emphasized by the intense color of the field, which makes it unique in the world.
From the typological and philosophical point of view, the stadium reinterprets tradition. The main volume corresponds to the ‘field’ of sports competitions: that “space of exception” – using the term of Michel Foucault – which evokes the clearing in the sacred wood of the old Olympia, and that, along the stands that surround it, forms a sort of ‘hortus conclusus.’ The stands stretch alongside the track during the whole running distance with the objective of reproducing an ‘inverse panopticon’ where spectators, aside from following the race, can contemplate themselves on both sides of the track. All this is meant to enhance the spectacle of mass sports events, as expressed by philosophers like Elias Canetti, Peter Sloterdijk or even Goethe in his description of the Verona amphitheater, of 1786. People, heretofore “accustomed to seeing one another running around in a disorderly crowd,” now see themselves “united into a whole.”...[+]
Dirección General de Deportes, Área Delegada de Deporte. Ayuntamiento de Madrid
Estudio Cano Lasso: Diego Cano-Lasso Pintos, Gonzalo Cano Pintos y Alfonso Cano Pintos
Manuel Ordoñez Abarca, Ignacio de la Vega Copado, Rosa Cano Cortés, Alfonso Nebot del Valle, Carlota Galán Daries, Alfonso Cano Abarca, Rocío Marina Pemán, María Losada. Julio Marcos Felipe, Adelaida Martínez de Ibarreta (dirección de obra site management)
ByV Aparejadores: Rafael Becerril Serrano, Ana Belén Mata (arquitectos técnicos quantity surveyors); DGD: Olga Álvaro Martín, Luisa Lenza Viudes (IOP); MC2/ Álvaro Serrano, Borja Encinas (estructura structure); IKDI / José María García, Higinio Rodríguez (instalaciones mechanical engineering); Alejandro Cano-Lasso Carretero (bajorrelieve low relief); Lastra y Zorrilla Arquitectura Textil (ETFE); Metálicas Estrumar SA (estructura metálica metallic structure); Nervados SA (prefabricados hormigón precast concrete); Aisproyec SL (envolventes envelopes); Teimper (pavimentos pavements); Prolux Ingenieros (electricidad electricity); DeLuxe Lighting SL (iluminación lighting); Faeber (iluminación deportiva sports lighting); Opsa. Conica (pavimento deportivo sports floor); Mondo Ibérica SA (material deportivo sport equipment); Duna (césped grass); Elejidillo Viveros Integrales SL (jardinería gardening); Serco Clima (fontanería y clima plumbing and conditioning)
BECSA / Víctor García Sancho (jefe de obra construction manager), Concepción Espina, Ignacio Planel
Superficie construida Floor area
3.810 m²; 28.385 m² parcela plot
Iwan Baan, Alberto Amores.